LCLA group day assesment. This time I led the group but we didn't get much further than the entrance when one wanted to go out. So I continued with the group down to the pitch while Andy took one of the group out the cave. Andy then caught us up and we exited via the long dry way. Unforunately because Andy couldn't really carry out a proper assesment it was decided to cancel the assesment part of it, which is now to be re-scheduled.
Caving: Swildons Hole (19-May-02)
Phill Short, Andy Stewart
1,049:15 cumulative hours
After finding out our previous attempt to visit Desolation Row was in the wrong place we decided to return. We also had the plan of having a quick dive in twelve to have another look at the end. This idea was soon abandoned after the numerous problems encountered en-route. Firstly Phill's regulator blew up at sump 2, rendering it useless, and then my reg fell apart in sump 4 (fortunately Andy found it all and reassembled it). - I think someone was trying to tell us something. Once under Victoria Aven we both climbed up the short Chimney and onto the ledge under the aven. From here I climbed to a boulder wedged across the passage and put in a bolt as a runner for the final move up onto the main ledge. I secured the rope and the others followed. On the ledge we found a serioulsy decaying ladder!! From here I climbed the rather exposed and difficult section up into Desolation Row itself. Approximately 40m of free climbing! Once we were all safely up we went off to explore. Andy had a few difficulties in some of the tighter passages. Sandwich Chamber at the end of Desolation Row is an extremely remote place, with a horrible suspended/hanging death slab. A return to sump 12 was made which upon arrival felt like we were home but in reality we were still along way from the surface.